Mom Thanks Her Special Needs Son's Barber For Stepping Up When He 'Lost It' During His Meltdown In The Barber Shop

Instead of getting frustrated, she turned it into a game to make him more comfortable.

barber, little boy @laquistaerinna / Instagram 

When a mother took her son to get his haircut, she realized that she had forgotten his headphones, an item that allowed her son, who has autism, to feel more comfortable. 

Things quickly went south and the little boy suffered a meltdown. When all hope seemed lost to get him to cooperate, his quick-thinking barber formulated a method to ease her client and cut his hair in an appropriate and comfortable manner. Now, the mother is thanking the barber for not only settling her son but for warming her heart after he “lost it.”


The barber had an adorable solution to help her autistic client feel safe. 

Sheree Bethea, also known as “Ree the Barber” by her clients, is a barber working in a studio based in Atlanta, Georgia.

One of her many beloved clients is seven-year-old Jackson, who has autism spectrum disorder. Due to this, getting haircuts can be an overwhelming and difficult experience for both him and his mother, Erinna, who tries her best to settle her son when he is struggling to sit in the chair and allow someone near him with scissors.

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She told Good Morning America in 2020 that she had not taken Jackson for a haircut at a traditional barber shop for over a year since he easily became overstimulated by them.

"We've gone to barber shops before where, you know, we, in so many words, been told not to come back,” she said.  And that's fine because I don't want anyone to service my child who doesn't have the patience and the kindness to treat him with dignity and respect.” 

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Luckily for both Erinna and Jackson, a barber was willing to offer their adequate and understanding services. Ree the Barber had been cutting Jackson’s older brother, Jordan’s, hair for a while, a process that little Jackson often came to watch. When he decided to let her give him his own haircut, Erinna was blown away by her dedication to going above and beyond to make the experience an enjoyable one. 

In an Instagram post, the mother reveals that the day started off rocky, with Jackson having an “epic meltdown” followed by some coaching to get him in the chair.


When she realized that he had forgotten his headphones, something that blocked out loud noises and provided him with a sense of security, things went “downhill fast.”

“He refused to sit in the chair and just lost it,” she wrote in the caption of her post. Thankfully, Ree quickly came to her and Jackson’s rescue. 

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The barber turned the hair-cutting experience into a fun game to make the boy more comfortable. 

“Ree noticed his Super Mario Brothers hoodie (he’s low-key obsessed) and told him that he needed to save Mario by making sure no hair gets on him. She cut his hair while he moved and ran around the shop. His smile is priceless.”


The adorable Instagram post depicts Ree and Jackson running about the shop and engaging in the game. Erinna calls Ree “heaven-sent” for turning her son’s incorporation into a game to distract him instead of getting frustrated with him. 

“When your kid is on the spectrum, people don’t want to be bothered,” she admitted. “She [Ree] has always been so patient and kind to Jack-Jack.” 

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Ree told Good Morning America details about the game she made up on the spot


"The reason why we were running was because the Mario on the chair was going to come attack us if we didn't run," she said. "I'm thinking if he's running, if he's moving, he's not going to pay attention to me cutting his hair. I was trying to distract him." 

According to the World Health Organization, about one in 100 children will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Those with autism have trouble with social communication, and interactions and are often easily overwhelmed by the noises and sights occurring around them.

Jackson was diagnosed with autism just before his third birthday. Erinna describes him as a  playful, energetic, and artistic little boy who is often misjudged by others.


This is why those like Ree mean so much to her and her family, and she appreciates her effort to not only work with Jackson but go out of her way to ensure that he is comfortable and happy. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.